34. Enrico Albanese (1834 – 1889)

Surgeon and patriot, who lived during the Italian Risorgimento and distinguished himself in the field of Orthopaedics and Traumatology. Albanese earned a Medical degree in 1855 and moved to Florence to finish his studies under the guidance of M. Bufalini, G. Pellizzari and F. Zannetti. After a few years, he returned to his hometown, where he attended the school of Giovanni Gorgone, a well-known Anatomy teacher and full professor of Clinical surgery at the University of Palermo.

Albanese was also a close friend of Giuseppe Garibaldi. He participated in the “Expedition of the Thousand” in 1860 and took part in the attempt to free Rome. During the “Aspromonte battle” on 29 August 1862, he was called upon to heal a severe wound on the foot of General Garibaldi. In 1865 he became director of the Civil Hospital of Palermo and he founded a pediatric ward and antiseptic operating room, one of the first to follow Joseph Lister’s theories.

In 1869 Albanese directed the hospital gazette that became the main advertising medium of the hospital. Only after Gorgone’s death in 1868, he was called upon to take his place in the Chair of Clinical Surgery. In 1873 he committed himself to the foundation and organization of a hospital building for children, called “Ospizio Marino”, where diseases such as rickets, spondylitis and scrofula were treated. Enrico Albanese’s scientific activity was particularly intense. We can recall his studies in epidermal transplantation, blood transfusion, preventive hemostasis in surgery and also the surgical procedures that he experimented, such as Astragalectomie and shoulder resection. He died in Naples at the age of 55 on the 5th of May 1889 and was buried in the cemetery of Santa Maria di Gesù (Palermo). His grave is covered by a big tombstone made of a type of marble called “pietra di Caprera”, donated by Garibaldi as a sign of friendship and gratitude.

Read More: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enrico_Albanese

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